The Rules of the Recruiting Calendar

Sue Enquist Takes On Early Recruiting
There is a lot of confusion surrounding the rules for when and how college coaches and student athletes can interact, and to be successful in your recruiting process, you must understand these rules.

First, a few quick definitions:

What is a contact?

A contact occurs any time a college coach says more than hello during a face-to-face contact with a college-bound student-athlete or his or her parents off the college's campus.

What is a contact period?

During a contact period a college coach may have face-to-face contact with college-bound student-athletes or their parents, watch student-athletes compete and visit their high schools, and write or telephone student-athletes or their parents.

What is an evaluation period?

During an evaluation period a college coach may watch college-bound student-athletes compete, visit their high schools, and write or telephone student-athletes or their parents. However, a college coach may not have face-to-face contact with college-bound student-athletes or their parents off the college's campus during an evaluation period.

What is a quiet period?

During a quiet period, a college coach may only have face-to-face contact with college-bound student-athletes or their parents on the college's campus.  A coach may not watch student-athletes compete (unless a competition occurs on the college's campus) or visit their high schools. Coaches may write or telephone college-bound student-athletes or their parents during this time.

What is a dead period?

During a dead period a college coach may not have face-to-face contact with college-bound student-athletes or their parents, and may not watch student-athletes compete or visit their high schools. Coaches may write and telephone student-athletes or their parents during a dead period.
What is the difference between an official visit and an unofficial visit?

Any visit to a college campus by a college-bound student-athlete or his or her parents paid for by the college is an official visit. Visits paid for by college-bound student-athletes or their parents are unofficial visits.

During an official visit the college can pay for transportation to and from the college for the prospect, lodging and three meals per day for both the prospect and the parent or guardian, as well as reasonable entertainment expenses including three tickets to a home sports event.

The only expenses a college-bound student-athlete may receive from a college during an unofficial visit are three tickets to a home sports event.

What is an Unofficial visit?

Student athletes can visit a coach on that coaches campus at anytime, as long as they pay their own way. These types of visits are called unofficial visits and have become a big part of the recruiting process.

What is an Official visit?

During your senior year the NCAA allows any academic institution to pay for you to attend campus on a 48-hour Official Visit. Included in the visit is transportation (airfare or mileage reimbursement) to and from campus, lodging (either on campusor in a hotel), meals, and tickets to sporting events on campus.

What is a National Letter of Intent?

A National Letter of Intent is signed by a college-bound student-athlete when the student-athlete agrees to attend a Division I or II college or university for one academic year. Participating institutions agree to provide financial aid for one academic year to the student-athlete as long as the student-athlete is admitted to the school and is eligible for financial aid under NCAA rules. Other forms of financial aid do not guarantee the student-athlete financial aid.
The National Letter of Intent is voluntary and not required for a student-athlete to receive financial aid or participate in sports.

Signing an National Letter of Intent ends the recruiting process since participating schools are prohibited from recruiting student-athletes who have already signed letters with other participating schools.

A student-athlete who has signed a National Letter of Intent may request a release from his or her contract with the school. If a student-athlete signs a National Letter of Intent with one school but attends a different school, he or she will lose one full year of eligibility and must complete a full academic year at their new school before being eligible to compete.

What are recruiting calendars?

Recruiting calendars help promote the well-being prospective student-athletes and coaches and ensure competitive equity by defining certain time periods in which recruiting may or may not occur in a particular sport.

NCAA Division I Softball Recruiting Calendar

August 1, 2016, through July 31, 2017

Important dates to remember:

  • ​January 2 through July 31, 2017: Contact Period 
  • April 10-13, 2017: Dead Period
  • May 30 through June 8 (noon), 2017:** Dead Period
* Each institution is limited to 50 evaluation days (August 1 through July 31) per NCAA Bylaw 13.02.7.2, which do not include employment of coaches in instructional camps/clinics or the observation of prospective student-athletes participating in high school softball competition.

Related:

The Paradox of Early Recruiting


Why PRO? Your FloSoftball Subscription Explained

What You Get with FloPRO

For the last three years, FloSoftball has been bringing you, the diehard fastpitch fan, unparalleled access to the best and most comprehensive softball content on the planet. You already can experience the most exciting club and college events LIVE throughout the year. You already can watch the most compelling, original documentaries available to softball fans. 

Rising Star: How Zoe Laneaux Overcame The Pressures Of Recruiting

Want To Take FloSoftball Anywhere? Download The FloSports iOS App Today

One of the toughest and most resilient athletes on Georgia Impact Premier - Lewis is junior Zoe Laneaux. Playing in the shadows of teammates who received more press and attention, she could have succumbed to the pressure of trying to live up to someone else’s expectations. But she didn’t. She persevered and thrived.

The Greatest Walk Up Songs of All Time

Walk Up songs are something to be taken very seriously. 15 to 30 seconds of ear magic that represents who you are and should leave a memorable impression on the stadium. Here are our top picks for Walk Up Songs:

How Illusion-Cain Delivers The Ultimate Player, Coach, Parent Experience

Want To Take FloSoftball Anywhere? Download The FloSports iOS App Today

Illusion-Cain is coming off of cinderella 12U season and are moving up to 14U. We chat with head coach Caitlyn Cain about this up and coming team and what were the reasons behind their continued success. 

2019 Hot 100 Players...You're On The Clock

What Makes a Hot 100 Player?

The time has come for the final installment of the 2019 Hot 100. The 2019 class certainly delivered in the 18U division last season. We saw Hot 100 players Kelley Lynch, Kinzie Hansen, Julia Cottrill, Lexi Kilfoyl, Maya Brady and more as impact players for their 18U squads.

Why We Should Rethink The Way We Develop Pitchers By Dana Sorensen

Dana Sorensen graduated from Stanford as a three-time All-American, four-time All Pac 10 player who led the Cardinals to two Women’s College World Series. She pursued a Master’s Degree in Exercise Sport Science at the University of North Carolina. During that time was named to the USA National Team and was a member of the Gold medal team. Sorensen spent several years coaching at the collegiate level at UC Davis and Oregon State. She is certified in Strength & Conditioning, Kettlebell, Functional Movement Screen, and Functional Movement Systems.

Club Softball Changes & Verbal Commits: Virginia Tech Lands 2019 Infielder

Minnesota and Virginia Tech locked in 2019 and 2020 recruits in the last week. Canadian 2019 infielder Kianna Jones found her new home in Minneapolis along with third baseman Rylie Costa who committed to Minnesota in the last week. Shortstop Ansley Whitley changed her verbal commitment from Kennesaw State to Virginia Tech following Coach Pete D'Amour to Blacksburg, Virginia. 

Join PRO Now to Get Unlimited Access to FloSoftball!

Join Now

Already a PRO Member? Log In

From MLB Scout To Softball Guru, Lincoln Martin Is Changing The Game

Want To Take FloSoftball Anywhere? Download The FloSports iOS App Today

Lincoln Martin figures he’s always been a scout. 

Rising Star: Stanford-Bound Infielder Sydney Steele

By Hailey Hudson @haileyh412

Why 2021 Pitcher Annabelle Widra Decommitted From Oklahoma

Annabelle Widra, a Hoover, Alabama native began receiving scholarship offers from coaches when she was in the eighth grade. At first, she was flattered by the attention. But the stress, pressure and high expectations of school, workouts, homework, tournaments, and phone calls began to wear on Widra.